KMLN (pronounced “Kameleon”) unites Italian producer/multi-instrumentalist
Christopher Tooker and Canadian / producer Shawna Hofmann.
KMLN are the charismatic duo that brought the earthy techno beats to PIPPA. They are known for making each show different from the next, thus always creating an exciting environment for the crowd. They use a mix of vocals, percussion and looping to create their art, and you never know who might join them. This time they were joined spontaneously with Stavroz for a very unique set.
We took a moment to talk with KMLN about their passions in music, love and the future.
AL365: We are really interested to know, how did KMLN come about?
CT: I was living in Italy for 23 years, then Berlin 8 years ago. I started KMLN there. A year later I was brought to Burning Man and that’s where I met Shawna. Shawna had been doing Burning Man for 17 years. We were really interested in each other’s story and music. We decided to go to Mexico, Tulum to make music together. Wow. Then we realised we could actually be a couple too. We fell in love and 2 years after that we decided to officially make music together. Before we were touring separately, but now we have been working together for a good 5-6 years as KMLN.
SH: We were really committed to our art and our lifestyle. The authenticity of self and finding yourself in the journey of life. So we weren’t really about the drug of romanticism. We were friends first and compatible with our music and art, and our life journey. The romanticism came later luckily. It took years to merge our sounds together. To form a unit.
AL365: We heard you travelled to 21 countries last year. Where were your favourite places and why?
CT: I certainly have my favourites. Kenya was mind-blowing, it was a 9 day expedition for New Years. Just a group of 30 friends, and friends of friends. Then it has to be Thailand of course!
SH: Mongolia this summer was so untouched. There was a different energy. It was really surprising, and I loved to be surprised.
CT: If you know us, then you know we were living in a van for 4 years that we built up ourselves with solar panels and a water tank. We are probably the most nomadic couple in the electronic music scene, travelling from country to country.
AL365: You have been going to Burning Man for a number of years and seen its change over the years as it has become more well-known globally. Do you still recommend going?
SH: The Burning Man festival has changed a lot in the last 5-6 years in terms of internet and network coverage. But most people turn off their phones. The magic remains. It’s a contribute to play, and even as it gets more and more exclusive and harder to get to for the regular person. So many regular people go anyway. It’s not exclusively rich people. I see that people are giving more than they are taking, or at least prepared to. Those things are rare in this life. People still get the experience it was meant for, which is important.
CT: They take an account every year and this year was one of the cleanest [through MOOP Map]. The camps have different colours, and this was one of the greenest yet, which is great. We show up in a van and no waste is left at all. We designed it that way.
AL365: You’ve been coming to Thailand since you were young. Can you tell our readership the reason?
SH: Thailand, it’s so cool. I was into Vipassana when I was a teenager, and I still am. It has stuck with me for life. It saved me psychologically and emotionally, and it put me on a good path. I thought this was only a stopping point, but then I experienced a lot here. I learnt to use the Poi, or fire dancing. I was coming from Australia, then I learnt it here. You couldn’t see it anywhere else in the world. I learnt tattooing too. I was already carving for a living. I was living around the world and making a living as I went. So I learnt tattooing and fire dancing. It pulled me out of the closet of this glasses-wearing-didgeridoo-hitchhiking-meditator and into a more social person. I went to America, and they were like, give us more of this. It turned me into a performer. What attracted me to Thailand was that the people stayed strong with Buddhism, which really resonated with me. Though not the ‘ism’ of it.
AL365: What event or festival would you like to play in the future?
CT: If there was another Live Aid in music. Something like they had back in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. But we are excited to be playing Wonderfruit this year. We played there 3 years ago and it was so nice. The shaded hangout areas, the food was so artisanal, the pools and the community especially.
Special thanks to PIPPA Restaurant and QC COMMUNICATIONS.
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